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AB Hytrons acting weird


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#1 Dave Wowchuk

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Posted 26 August 2006 - 11:46 AM

I've run into a situation where my Hytron batteries have been acting weird. When I attach them to their mounts, the fuel gauge shows one flashing horizontal bar. I thought it was one battery, so I tried another and it did the same thing. When I put the battery back on the charger, it seems to recover, but once its back on that mount ... same result. Nothing was being powered off the battery (or that mount) so I'm wondering if I have a short circuit or something?

Any ideas?

Dave
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#2 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 26 August 2006 - 12:21 PM

I've run into a situation where my Hytron batteries have been acting weird. When I attach them to their mounts, the fuel gauge shows one flashing horizontal bar. I thought it was one battery, so I tried another and it did the same thing. When I put the battery back on the charger, it seems to recover, but once its back on that mount ... same result. Nothing was being powered off the battery (or that mount) so I'm wondering if I have a short circuit or something?

Any ideas?

Dave


There is a fuse inside of the AB Gold mounts. Did you check that?
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#3 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 26 August 2006 - 02:28 PM

Hello Dave
In addition to the fuse inside the gold mount itself, it could be either the batteries or a short circuit in the sled. In the event of the sled deciding to send power back into the battery, the voltage would plumment as you describe. I wouldn't continue to mount the batteries on the sled until you have done a check of your wiring as you will risk blowing the external fuse on the rear of the battery, or worse, melting the pin contacts or damaging the cells inside the battery casing, which would mean losing a Hytron. You don't want to lose one of them, they're far too good!

If it is a battery problem, they may not be charging properly - temperature irregularities or over-discharge of your A/B batteries can mean they do not charge properly at first.

Why not contact Anton/Bauer directly, speak to Paul Dudeck (US) or Martyn Sly-jex (Europe) mslyjex@antonbauer.com and see if they have any ideas
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#4 charlesneufeld

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 01:15 PM

Hey Dave,

Send me an email if you can't sort it out. I'll be in the Peg next week, and could take a quick look for you.

Hope all is well
Charles
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#5 WillArnot

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 12:23 AM

This situation is often solved very simply. You have to reset the LCD display. That's all.

Use a paperclip or similar and stick it into the the little hole that is a perfect 'paperclip size' located just next to the LCD along the seam of the battery casing that bisects the LCD. Its not a random hole, that's where the reset button is. About 1cm into the hole the end of the clip should encounter a button - make sure you insert the clip straight and not at an angle! Otherwise you might jam the clip into a circuit board. Press the button for only a second or so, and low and behold this will most likely bring your display back to full functioning life.

This is not anything wrong with your battery cells, just a ghost in the machine consistent only with the software for the new era LCD displays that have all this pie chart / load calculated readout mambo jumbo.

Its just a software reset for the display.

OOPs. Just went and checked my Hytron 120's. Can't find that hole. The one I am talking about is on my Dionic 90's. But the symptom you are talking about is exactly the same on my Dionics. There is often a single flashing horizontal bar no matter what the charge situation - and I take great care with my charge cycles. AB told me about that LCD reset.

Call them. There must be one for the Hytrons. I have never had it with my Hytron 120's, but I hardly ever use them. There are 3 holes at 3 corners on the front face where the LCD is, but they don't seem to harbor the coveted reset button.

Let us know if you find it.

Will
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#6 pauldudeck

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 12:33 PM

Please be careful when to use the "reset" button on the batteries and when not to. I would suggest calling the Anton/Bauer Customer Support line at (800)422-3473 and they can trouble-shoot it with you on the phone. You can also send them an email at support@antonbauer.com. If possible, have your batteries along with the serial numbers of them available.

Regards,
Paul Dudeck
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#7 Matt Petrosky

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 03:58 AM

So what's the reason the LCD goes from full charge bars to one line in the middle? Is there some sort of code (i.e. position of bar = diagnostic for batt.) or is this just the LCD chip freaking out?

I read this thread the other night and then yesterday afternoon I switched to a fresh Hytron 50 with full bars and it went into this single bar mode. So I found a paper clip and all seems well. Funny timing. Anyway, the battery worked fine after the reset and it charged normally. Now I've read Paul's response, maybe I'll call AB and see what's up as there is nothing about this in the Hyton manual.

-Matt
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#8 Dave Wowchuk

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 10:39 AM

So I talked to Mike at AB this morning about this "condition." He told me that this is an indicator of an over-current draw on the battery, and causes it to shut down. He advised me to reset the display (as Will said) and put it back on the charger for a few hours.

It's funny (but not really funny) that this happened when nothing was connected ... so I think I might have a short on my rig's electronics. Damn.

Thanks everyone for your input.

BTW: Charles ... are you in town to work, or just visiting. If you're working, I'd love to come by and see you on set.
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#9 WillArnot

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 06:34 PM

Thank you Dave & Matt for following this up.

Dave, this is also the case with my batts (Dionic 90's). The never show the 'one bar syndrome' once on the sled and under load - this is what seems to keep them steady... so to speak.

The one bar thing happens after coming off fresh charge, usually having sat for the full cell balancing phase ie. solid green light on charger, or when they have sat around a little bit having been charged or used a little bit.

We need to stay on AB about this. Paul is usually very helpful but his post was a little 'cryptic' with alot of "Beware" with no explanation.

Will
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#10 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 07:41 AM

Gents--

Paul has indeed been very helpful. Folks that are having this symptom should contact A/B on their toll-free line and get their questions answered.

As to seeming "cryptic," perhaps folks should contact the manufacturer directly rather than waiting for information to be spoon fed to the masses via the Net. Perhaps there is some sensitive or proprietary information here that should go to product owners and users rather than A/B's competition.

Paul has never let me down over the past fifteen years. I heartily doubt that he would start now.

Best,

Brant S. Fagan, SOC
Steadicam/Camera Operator
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#11 Dave Wowchuk

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 03:01 PM

So it turns out that I have a short in one of the 12v/Video Out connectors on my rig. The contacts have somehow come loose, and when a lemo connector is inserted they pop out at the back and touch ? thus causing the over-current, and the batteries shut-down.

My rig will soon begin it's long journey back to Glidecam, then to CIT for new connectors ... damn.

DW
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